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J Biol Chem. 2005 Feb 11;280(6):4602-8. Epub 2004 Dec 8.

A novel putrescine utilization pathway involves gamma-glutamylated intermediates of Escherichia coli K-12.

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  • 1Division of Integrated Life Science, Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Oiwake-cho, Kitashirakawa, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


A novel bacterial putrescine utilization pathway was discovered. Seven genes, the functions of whose products were not known, are involved in this novel pathway. Five of them encode enzymes that catabolize putrescine; one encodes a putrescine importer, and the other encodes a transcriptional regulator. This novel pathway involves six sequential steps as follows: 1) import of putrescine; 2) ATP-dependent gamma-glutamylation of putrescine; 3) oxidization of gamma-glutamylputrescine; 4) dehydrogenation of gamma-glutamyl-gamma-aminobutyraldehyde; 5) hydrolysis of the gamma-glutamyl linkage of gamma-glutamyl-gamma-aminobutyrate; and 6) transamination of gamma-aminobutyrate to form the final product of this pathway, succinate semialdehyde, which is the precursor of succinate.

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